Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a new term in the field of aging.  MCI was previously known as age associated memory impairment or AAMI.  The new term was created by medical experts  to designate an intermediate stage between the cognitive decline of normal aging and the more pronounced decline of dementia.  The medical experts are exploring this as an “in between state of memory loss”.  This “in between stage”  does not always lead to Alzheimer’s disease, but is being researched.

It is believed that singing legend Glen Campbell was showing signs of mild cognitive impairment before being ultimately diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Glen Campbell and his family showed the public how ones family can work with the strengths of the individual who has Alzheimer’s and how they adapted to the weaknesses created by the memory loss.

Generally a person with MCI will experience problems with:

  • memory
  • language
  • thinking
  • judgment

A person and his/her family or friends may be aware that the individual’s memory and/or other mental functions have changed.   Generally, though, the changes are not severe enough to impact the person’s daily life.

Experts at the Mayo Clinic have pointed out that the presence of mild cognitive impairment increases a person’s risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s, if the main problem is with memory.  The experts have also found that people with mild MCI never get worse and some may eventually improve.